Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dealing With Being Black?

White folks, unfortunately, have gotten in the habit of watching what they say about black folks.

It’s so easy to get called a racist after all.

But James Harris of The National Conversation is black, and he’s not intimidated by the notion that he has to toe some party line.

So what happens when the local stuck-in-the-60s leftist tabloid runs a story about the trials of a black woman titled “I Deal With Being Black Every Day.” Poor woman. Has to deal with white racism.

Except Harris notices that the things she actually has to “deal with” are of her own doing.
Teresa Rae Butler of Milwaukee has a problem. She has four kids, “no man in her life,” $32,000 in college debt, a worthless degree, no job and she lives in the ‘hood.’ Now that’s rough. No one would dispute the difficulty of someone in her circumstances. But when the Shepherd-Express interviewed her about her struggles, Teresa, in a moment of pure insanity, did not contemplate the stupidity of her asinine life choices. That would be too obvious. Oh, no! Teresa Rae Butler blamed her race! Her skin color!

“I deal with being black every day.”

Sweet God in Heaven. This poor soul has acquitted herself from the immorality of her own stupidity! (Four kids with no man in her life is most likely code for four kids by four different men.) A single mother with four kids is THE recipe for poverty. Going to college is nice but that in and of itself doesn’t guarantee success; Her degree is in human services. Social work? You went 30 G’s into debt for a dead-end, low-paying (albeit altruistic) job? Ouch.

“Milwaukee doesn’t do anything to promote racism; it just sort of turns its back to you and lets you die in the gutter.”

Here’s what she’s really saying: My life is not my responsibility. My circumstances are not a result of my decisions. God can’t help me and I can’t help myself because, I am black.
As we have already observed, anybody who has seen Bill Cosby give his talk before a black audience knows that he (and Harris) speak for a very large minority -- and sometimes a clear majority -- of black people.

We are talking about black folks who have clear ideas about what upward mobility requires.

We are talking about black folks many of whom are Christians and who have Christian ideas about how people should behave.

We are talking about people who worked hard to make it. In a goodly number of cases they had to work harder than whites to make it. That wasn’t fair, but failing to make it would have been way worse.

We are talking about people some of whom actually marched with Martin Luther King. And many more marched elsewhere and worked for and identified with the Civil Rights Movement. And they don’t much like the hard won political gains being thrown away via irresponsible personal behavior.

[Extra:] An earlier post of Harris’ made the “Best of the Wisconsin Blogs” section of the Journal-Sentinel website.

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